Today, The Times has reported that the Government is to announce that ‘within days’ plain packs are to be introduced in a bid to make tobacco less appealing to young people.
In July this year, the Government looked set to shelve the plans as the Department for Health stated that it was delaying the introduction of plain packs, telling the BBC ‘This is an important decision and we make no apology for taking time to get it right.’
In October, however, proposed EU rules stated that warnings on cigarette packaging must cover 65 per cent of cigarette and tobacco packaging, suggesting moves towards a standardised, non-branded look for the products.
Reports this morning point to a ‘U-turn’ from David Cameron, who is set to announce the plain packaging proposals following a study on their effects in Australia, the first country to outlaw branded tobacco products.
This study found that ‘smokers using standardised plain brown packers were 81 per cent more likely to consider quitting’, according to The Times. The newspaper also reports that the Government is to announce another review of the effects of the law in Australia, which will report back in March 2014.
Following this, plain packaging is expected to be on shelves before the next general election in May 2015, The Times adds.